Immigration reform urged

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Today’s timely report by Gary Harmon – “Immigration reform urged” – aptly captures the profound disconnect between what Western Colorado citizens want and need versus what “Tea Party” Congressman Scott Tipton ineptly and disingenuously “believes”.

Similarly, in yesterday’s edition of Mother Jones on-line magazine, Kevin Drum’s “Yet Another Day in Republican Scumbaggery” (i.e., “underhanded and otherwise despicable behavior”) accurately described Republicans’ refusal to appropriate adequate funds to deal with the current humanitarian crisis.

Moreover, one local “scumbag”—in on-line comments opposing any immigration reform—justified his despicable racist rants against President Obama by citing Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution to blame the President for the current situation. 

Of course, Article I, Section 8, explicitly delegates to Congress – not the President – the power (and thus responsibility) to “provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States” (which necessarily includes border security) and “to provide for an uniform Rule of Naturalization” (which necessarily includes immigration policy).

Nevertheless, “scumbag Scott” evades that responsibility by making “border security a necessary first step in immigration reform” – even though President Obama has already taken that “first step” by fielding more Border Patrol agents and deporting more illegal entrants than any previous administration.  Moreover, the current crisis proves that few if any unaccompanied minors are avoiding apprehension and detention.

Moreover, the scumbag Speaker of the House evades congressional responsibility for the current humanitarian crisis (by, in 2008, prohibiting the immediate deportation of non-Mexican minors) – now insisting instead that our borders must be “sealed”.

Even Texas’s scumbag Republican Governor and “Tea Party” congressional delegation know that Boehner’s pronouncement is nonsensical—because the economy of Texas depends on the cheap labor provided by undocumented immigrants.

Thus, our current immigration policy is being dictated by scumbags, who like things just the way they are.

“We believe it’s imperative that we have a system that allows workers to be in this country legally,”

There already is a system, it includes H2-a & H2-b non-Immigrant visas. I am sure a revised guest worker system could be passed if they didn’t insist on attaching some sort of mass amnesty to the bill every time. We have tried this approach in the past and it only results in higher illegal immigration numbers.

The recent surge at our southern border is further proof that we need enforcement before anything else. As long as they are told they will get to stay if they sneak across the border they will continue to do so.

Annette Helgelien’s comment raises several important points regarding comprehensive immigration reform – codified in S.744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” (passed by the Senate with 14 Republican votes last June but still not even considered by the House), but reveals her unfamiliarity with the specifics of S.744.

Thus, first, while “it’s imperative that we have a system that allows workers to be in this country legally”, S.744 distinguishes between the millions of such workers who are already here illegally and those who might seek to enter illegally in the future.

As to the latter, no one is satisfied with the present H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant visa program – because it is excessively bureaucratic, inflexible, and ties a nonimmigrant worker to a particular sponsoring employer for a specific period of time (less than one year), thereby subjecting the nonimmigrant worker to exploitation.

S.744’s new “W” agricultural visa program allows nonimmigrant workers to remain in the U.S. for up to six years (initially three, renewable for three more) while working for any employer approved by the Department of Agriculture—thereby allowing agricultural employers to better plan the hiring of sufficient workers from year-to-year and allowing seasonal workers to move from employer to employer as crops are ready for harvest.

As to the former, there is no “mass amnesty” attached to S.744 – because no one is being “pardoned” for the misdemeanor and civil offense of “unlawful entry into the U.S.”

Under S.744, undocumented immigrants in the U.S. as of December 31, 2011, may apply for “Registered Provisional Immigrant” (“RPI”) – if they have not been convicted of a felony (or three misdemeanors), pass a background check, and pay application fees and a $1000 fine (which may be paid in installments), but remain ineligible for Medicaid, food stamps, ACA health care, and Social Security credit for previous illegal employment.

Thus, “RPI” status is not “amnesty” or a pardon for entering illegally, but rather induces undocumented immigrants to self-identify themselves—by suspending the threat of deportation, conditioned on continued employment and good behavior.

Finally, “the recent surge at our southern border” proves that enforcement – at least as to refugee children (who do not “sneak” across the border, but rather cross openly seeking someone to surrender to) – is more than adequate.  In 2008, Congress passed the law that allows unaccompanied non-Mexican children to remain n the U.S. while their status is being adjudicated.  What we lack is sufficient resources to timely comply with that law.

Nevertheless, S.744 would add 20,000 more Border Patrol agents (a 100% increase) and spend up to $43 billion on 700 miles of border fencing and surveillance equipment.

“Thus, first, while “it’s imperative that we have a system that allows workers to be in this country legally”, S.744 distinguishes between the millions of such workers who are already here illegally and those who might seek to enter illegally in the future.”

So did Simpson Mazzoli, but it didn’t do much good either.

“As to the former, there is no “mass amnesty” attached to S.744 – because no one is being “pardoned” for the misdemeanor and civil offense of “unlawful entry into the U.S.”

No, they may be required to pay a “small” fine for their misdeeds. If they are not satisfied with the answer DHS gives them they can request a review. If they are still not satisfied they can seek a judicial review or file a lawsuit against the government.

So to be accurate it’s an amnesty with a fee.

“no one is satisfied with the present H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant visa program – because it is excessively bureaucratic, inflexible, and ties a nonimmigrant worker to a particular sponsoring employer for a specific period of time (less than one year), thereby subjecting the nonimmigrant worker to exploitation.”

And as I stated few people have an issue with an updated guest worker program, the problem comes with the amnesty. If they were truly serious about immigration reform they would push a bill with only the new visa program for now and iron out the other details later.

“Thus, “RPI” status is not “amnesty” or a pardon for entering illegally, but rather induces undocumented immigrants to self-identify themselves—by suspending the threat of deportation, conditioned on continued employment and good behavior.”

So pretty much a conditional amnesty.

“Finally, “the recent surge at our southern border” proves that enforcement – at least as to refugee children (who do not “sneak” across the border, but rather cross openly seeking someone to surrender to)”

Why wouldn’t they surrender? They have been told by our current administration they will not be deported unless they have a record of violent crimes.

“Nevertheless, S.744 would add 20,000 more Border Patrol agents (a 100% increase) and spend up to $43 billion on 700 miles of border fencing and surveillance equipment.”

The additional border patrol means almost nothing if we continue the practice of not deporting those here illegally. The amendment by Patrick Leahy removed the minimum requirement for a border fence. So in reality they could install no additional border fence and still be within the law. 

This is just another Simpson Mazzoli bill. Until I see a bill that requires enforcement first I will continue to fight it as most others are.



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